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A Debut Collection Influenced By Poetry, Philosophy, and “Total Garbage”

We’ve always been curious about solo designers who choose to use a studio name, but we got as good a reason as any recently by Brecht Gander, the designer behind a brand-new, Queens-based studio called Birnam Wood, whose first collection we’re debuting here today. A philosophy major and the son of two poets, Gander’s studio name, Birnam Wood, is a reference to Macbeth. But its lack of specificity also acknowledges the people who work alongside Gander in his shop — as he says, “I write the songs, but it takes a group to play the music.”

He continues: “I visited the Met Sottsass retrospective recently, and I was disappointed that in an exhibit of exquisitely made things, no reference was made to the makers of those things. Can Sottsass’s works be fully appreciated without any notice taken of the mastery required to ensure that the Superbox cabinet doors haven’t warped, decades after their production? Or that the burled veneers of his coffee tables have remained perfectly flat and stable?” 

In Birnam Wood’s case, those fabrication methods extend from thermoforming Corian for single and double magazine racks to CNC-routing walnut for a standing mirror. Our favorite piece might be the Total Garbage Side Table, so-named for a spice rack Gander found in the refuse outside a renovation he was working on. “Structurally balanced, architectural, a bit dramatic — I didn’t do much but translate this into different materials and finishes,” he says. See that piece, as well as some of our other favorites, here today and go to Birnam Wood‘s website to check out more. 

PHOTOS BY CHARLIE SCHUCK

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